Gaming companies can change within the blink of an eye, based on an acquisition or seeking out a new direction following the success of a popular franchise. For years, Sony Online Entertainment worked on a number of games that have become fan favorites, including DC Online Universe and Everquest II.
But changes are eventual for companies, and Sony Online Entertainment was acquired by investment firm Columbus Nova and transformed into a new independent brand called Daybreak Game Company. Now, it has a whole new direction, one that it hopes will find a definitive place in today’s game industry.
Daybreak’s director of global brand marketing, Candace Brenner, recently had a chance to sit down with us to talk about the company’s new direction, as well as what it hopes to accomplish in today’s jam-packed industry.
Has your marketing strategy changed now that you are an independent company If so, how?
The last couple of months have been an amazing ride. The energy, the excitement, maybe even a little bit of nervousness has been palpable. As we went through the whole rebranding (new logo, new website, etc.), we talked a lot internally about what the transition would look like and where we were headed. We had that rare opportunity to really tear down and rebuild. But in the end, I think we found that it was less about changing our strategy or fundamentally changing who we were and more about letting our real self shine through. We’ve always been a little rebellious, a little ambitious and a lot of fun. I think now we’re not trying to obscure that but rather embrace it. We try to talk to our players one to one without the typical marketing pretense or fluffy words. We try to really connect with the player and deliver an experience that reminds them why they play games.
Do you see free-to-play games as the way forward for MMORPGs, or do you plan to experiment with other monetization strategies?
We don’t approach game development with a one-size-fits-all approach. What works for one game, doesn’t work for the next, and we all know that the gaming landscape is ever-evolving. The good news is that Daybreak is nimble and willing to try new things. We’ve been in the business of games for nearly two decades, so we intend to use that experience in conjunction with our independent spirit to make smart, progressive decisions.
In previous interviews, Daybreak mentioned the development of games across multiple platforms — Is this about extending current IP to new platforms or developing new IP?
I think the first thing that people think to ask is: Are you going to develop for the Xbox, It’s the obvious question since we’ve been a part of Sony. The easy answer to that is YES! We are definitely looking forward to finding new fans and players on new platforms and yes, that means Xbox, but it could mean mobile and tablet, or whatever other platform the future brings too. And developing new IP’s Absolutely! We have such a creative and passionate group, we are always thinking of new ideas.
The company is known for large scale, persistently on, community driven games — Will future games continue to be developed with this type of thinking?
As part of our mission statement, we talk about creating lasting communities. That part is something that will always be a part of who we are. The type of game or session length or scale may change over time but we love the idea of focusing on building our communities. From EverQuest to H1Z1 and everything in between, it still feels cool when someone tells me that we were their first love. So what type of thinking goes into the development of our games We want everyone to feel that moment and find ways to recreate that moment whenever we can.
We certainly wish Daybreak the best of luck with their new direction. To learn more about the company, visit their page here.